A few weeks ago, Caspar (our product manager) and I came up with the idea of interviewing Sergey Shatunov, the main developer of HoloEverywhere, the same library used to create our AndroidPIT app. For those unfamiliar, HoloEverywhere (HE) is an Android library that can be integrated with your projects to provide Holo-designed components for older versions of Android, which lack the Holo user interface.
We prepared a list of non-technical questions for him, so that the interview would be accessible to readers with little or no knowledge of Android programming as well. Topics are relevant to all Android users, and some may even be encouraged to learn how to develop Android software and even an application.
AndroidPIT: How would you describe HoloEverywhere for your grandmother?
Sergey: This is hard to answer. My grandmother is a person very far from technology. I would try to make some analogies with her life, but I don't think I could describe the purpose of my work. But that can be funny, I'll try
AndroidPIT: When did you start working for the project and how much time do you invest in it per week?
Sergey: HoloEverywhere started out as a simple library, with only basic Holo theme widgets made by Christophe Versieux (WazaBe). Some time later I discovered the project when I needed a simple application for Android 2.1. I was already a longtime ICS user, and my eyes hurt whenever I saw an application designed for Gingerbread. I never thought about how ugly apps could be. These useless gradients, the confusion of the icons and the unstable behavior of the program. The folks at Google were sick of it and launched the new Holo design, which looks much nicer on a large list of devices.
My library time is very peculiar. Sometimes I can be very lazy to make things go. Other times, I work night and day without break. It basically depends on my girlfriend, not me 🙂 But I try to work! Sometimes I find something interesting for the library, I decide to add just one thing and WOW 3 in the morning !? On average, I work 10 to 15 hours a week.
AndroidPIT: What motivates you to work for free?
Sergey: Nothing, I think. I simply write the library I need and share my work with others. I ask nothing in return: I just write the code, or fix bugs, or even write bugs 🙂 In the end, who will give me something if I don't give it? I am a supporter of the software open source, maybe it's a fan of Richard Stallman.
AndroidPIT: What does it feel like to have so many people using your project?
Sergey: Gingerbread is still alive, and it's the fault of Google's weird upgrade system. Of course I'm glad HE is useful to some people, but I don't like the fact that developers need HE.
AndroidPIT: What do you do when you are not working for the project? Do you have another job?
Sergey: No, I'm still a student and freelancer, but I've been invited to work at a variety of companies: even Google wanted me. But I don't want to get stuck in a company doing stupid work without personal growth. Programmers are creative people. I want to create something new: new applications, new concepts, a new revolution. Some may say that Google is the ideal place for creative people, but I don't think so.
AndroidPIT: What is your favorite project using HoloEverywhere?
Sergey: Well of course the AndroidPIT! 🙂 I can also recommend the Unix Admin and TimeAct To-Do apps, which are very useful for me.
AndroidPIT: What are your advices for developers who want to get involved with software? open source?
Sergey: Search for solutions that will test your knowledge. You are just you must create solutions. Don't be a stupid search engine. Of course, read the guidelines before you create anything, otherwise I will visit you in your dreams and do something mean. You don't want that, right?
Thanks to Sergey for the interview! Good luck in the future!
Interested in developer apps? What Android libraries do you use?
(tagsToTranslate) HoloEverywhere (t) developer (t) interview (t) Sergey Shatunov (t) opensource